command-not-found - suggest installation of missing software packages in terminal

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HowTo: install command-not-found


Quote Debian package

Suggest installation of packages in interactive bash sessions This package will install a handler for command_not_found that looks up programs not currently installed but available from the repositories.


The order in which these commands are run matter, [1] but the process is idempotent. This means it is possible to re-apply all of the following steps.

1. Delete /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/ because it contains settings that speed up but break command-not-found. [2]

sudo rm -f /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/30usability-misc

2. Install command-not-found.

Install command-not-found. To accomplish that, the following steps A. to D. need to be done.

A. Update the package lists.

sudo apt update

B. Upgrade the system.

sudo apt full-upgrade

C. Install the command-not-found package.

Using apt command line parameter --no-install-recommends is in most cases optional.

sudo apt install --no-install-recommends command-not-found

D. Done.

The procedure of installing command-not-found is complete.

3. Run update-command-not-found with root rights.

sudo update-command-not-found

4. Done.

Setup of update-command-not-found has been completed.


local variable 'cnf' referenced before assignment[edit]

See Also[edit]


  1. Also apt update cannot be skipped since package contents files need to be downloaded.
  2. Acquire::IndexTargets::deb::Contents-deb::DefaultEnabled false;

    breaks command-not-found because it requires /var/lib/apt/lists/*Contents* to exist.


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